By Billy Fellin
Mr. Edward R. Murrow, a famous CBS newscaster who brought Joseph McCarthy to his knees in the Red Scare of the 50’s always signed off by saying “Good Night, and Good Luck”, hence the movie bearing this phrase as it’s title. Flip it around and you have yourself a good playoff slogan for twelve teams vying for the Lombardi Trophy. In this article, let’s focus on the New York Giants.We really have seen two completely different Giants teams this season. In their first eight games, they go 6-2 and find themselves on the top of the NFC East and rumors of Miami started to float around. Apparently, that was some sort of cue for the injury bug to come around, which decimated the Giants starters, starting off with LaVar Arrington’s season ending injury. After those first eight, the second eight were horrible: a dismal 2-6 for a final record of 8-8, good for the 6th Wild Card seed and 3rd in the NFC East.
The Giants aren’t in an impossible situation to win on Sunday against the Eagles, but they certainly have made it tougher on themselves. Tom Coughlin is most likely gone after this season, but a playoff game could save his job in New York. Eli Manning is playing for everything, especially since he is seeing how well Philip Rivers is playing with the high-flying Chargers. Jeremy Shockey should be back from being injured, which could very well boost Eli’s confidence about his throws. Tiki Barber was running all over the Redskins, posting 245 yards and many Giants fans, including this one, are hoping he can do the same against the Eagles.
However to win the Giants need to do a couple things. Getting Jeremy Shockey involved is key: he’s a good blocker, but he is, and always will be, one of the better pass-catching tight ends in the game. The Giants need to get him in the open space in the middle of the field and let him do the rest. Their defense needs to bolster down and not slack off if the Giants get a decent lead, which they did against the Redskins in the final week of the season. Watching the game, I couldn’t believe my eyes how the Giants almost let the Redskins back into the game. That can’t happen against the Eagles, because they are a better and far hungrier team than the Deadskins, so the Giants defense needs to buckle down and get ready for a long, hard fought battle.
However, as much as I want the Giants to beat the Eagles and make it to the Divisional Round, that’s probably as far as they will get. They would play the Bears in Chicago; the Bears destroyed them in the Meadowlands, they probably will get destroyed at Soldier Field as well. However, I believe in the “any given Sunday” mantra of football, that any team can beat any other team on their given game day. Analysts can pick the game to pieces, and most times they are right about what they predict will go on. But no one really knows how the game will go until that ball is kicked off the tee. In the playoffs it’s do or die, all the time. So I wish good luck to the Giants and Giants fans across the country. We will probably need it; let’s remember what it feels like to win a playoff game.